When Tamara Ponos and Jordan Fogarty got engaged in the Jardin du Tuileries in Paris, the proposal kicked off more than one night of celebration. “We were beginning a month-long trip around Europe, and it was the perfect start,” Tamara recalls. “It set the scene for a month of festivities with friends at every destination.”
For their wedding, Tamara and Jordan knew they wanted to create a similarly unforgettable experience for their wedding guests. “We’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, and in Lake Como in particular, and it has such a special place in our hearts,” says the Australian bride. “We visited a few different villas, and immediately knew that Villa Regina Teodolinda was the one. It’s the perfect juxtaposition between a grand, historic setting, and an intimate feel.”
The couple set the date for July 22, 2018, inviting 100 guests to join them for an elegant weekend that was just as stylish as it was fun. They worked with Join Us Lake Como to plan and coordinate the details—a must with such a long distance between Australia and Italy!—and embraced a palette of green and cream with pops of burgundy, terra cotta, and gold.
The couple selected Villa Regina Teodolinda, with its historic architecture and sweeping views of Lake Como, as their home base for the weekend. Fun fact: The venue was once the home to the queen of Italy!
Tamara and her bridesmaids got ready at the villa, toasting with Champagne before getting dressed. The bride chose a soft lace Monique Lhuillier gown, which paired a full skirt with a fitted bodice. “It made me feel regal and feminine,” she says. “I loved the scoop neckline, which felt ultra-feminine because it didn’t have any boning beneath the delicate lace!”
Each of Tamara’s bridesmaids wore a dove gray one-shoulder gown featuring a tie at the shoulder and an elegantly low back. The women all carried white bouquets of roses and mulberries, a nod to the trees the groom used to climb at his grandmother’s house.
Jordan paired a classic black tuxedo with cuff links that were a gift from Tamara on his 21st birthday. He and his groomsmen arrived at the venue by boat.
The ceremony took place overlooking the lake, with a lush arch at the end of a petal-strewn aisle. A string quartet played as guests arrived and took their seats.
Tamara walked down the aisle with her father, who gave her away with a kiss. “Jordan and I really wanted our ceremony to reflect who we are as a couple, so we wrote our own vows and selected a reading from The Alchemist for Jordan’s cousin to share,” says the bride. A close friend, a professional opera singer, serenaded the couple with “Songbird” by Eva Cassidy for.
After the ceremony, Jordan and Tamara took a boat out onto the lake for a few moments alone. “It was amazing to revel in our newly-wedded bliss with the sun on our faces and the mountains around us,” says the bride.
Back at the villa, guests enjoyed Aperol spritzes and a grazing board of classic Italian antipasti before finding their seating assignments handwritten in calligraphy on an oversized piece of linen.
Guests were seated at long wooden tables set up in the middle of the villa's courtyard. Each table was draped in white linen runners and topped with candles, lush white florals, and bowls overflowing with fresh fruit.
Guests cheered as the newlyweds made their grand entrance into the villa’s courtyard. “I loved how the lights in the trees twinkled as the sun began to set,” says Tamara
The group feasted on amberjack tartare, ravioli with burrata and fresh tomatoes, and fresh seabass. For dessert, the couple served a traditional Italian wedding cake alongside miniature dishes of panna cotta and tiramisu.
The newlyweds shared their first dance to “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest, then the wedding party hoisted the couple onto their shoulders. “It was incredible to be up there under the chandeliers of this amazing ballroom!” says Tamara.
Planning a destination wedding had its challenges, but Jordan and Tamara did everything they could to be super organized and to let go when the time came. “Prior to our final meeting with all vendors, we said to each other, ‘let’s be as detailed as possible with the plans during this meeting, and then after we’ll leave the rest to chance,’” recalls the bride. “We took care of everything we possibly could, and then left it up to our vendors to make it happen!”
Wedding Planner: Join Us Lake Como
Venue: Villa Regina Teodolinda
Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier
Bride's Veil: Oscar de la Renta
Bride's Shoes: Christian Dior
Hair & Makeup: Brittany Mason
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Lucy Laurita
Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Linneys Jewellery
Floral Design: Janna Brown Design
Paper Products: Isidore Augustine
Catering & Cake: Sunlake Catering
Music: Blunotte Eventi
Transportation: Boat Service Lake Como
Photography: Katie Grant Photography